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[bioontology-support] Search rank and mismatch search in REST service

Martijn van Iersel mvaniersel at
Thu Apr 18 07:48:28 PDT 2013

Dear BioPortal

I have been making use of your fantastic BioPortal REST webservices, 
with the goal in mind to add ontology annotation features to PathVisio 

I'm looking for two features that would be really useful:

1. Search with mismatches. For example, if I search for "dictiostelium" 
instead of "Dictyostelium" - it would be nice if the search algorithm 
could handle that type of mismatch.

2. Search ranking. Trish Whetzel told me that the website search results 
are ranked by page hits - a crude measure of popularity. It would be 
great if you could access the same ranking data through the webservice 
when you do a search. The particular problem I'm struggling with is to 
put "Dictyostelium discoidum" on the top of my search results if I 
search for "Dictyostelium". When doing this query on the bioportal 
website, indeed D. discoidum is one of the top hits. However, when doing 
the query through rest webservice, I get the results in seemingly random 

Is there currently any way to do these things, and if not, would you 
consider adding these some day in the future?

with kind regards,
Martijn van Iersel
Bioinformatics Consultant, General Bioinformatics

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